It is clear the discussions about the 2021 Little 500’s timing focused on the parties IU wanted to avoid — especially during a pandemic. It was reasonable and warranted for them to do so. However, it is clear the Little 500 had no voice in those discussions.
Postponing the race until May 26 is demanding on a great deal of the riders. Placing it on a Wednesday did nothing but further reduce the number of teams in 2021. It sent a clear message to the riders that stands in stark contrast to the very reason they ride.
“Leadership for a Lifetime” cannot occur if the potential leaders have no voice.
Tradition is the lifeblood of IU. It is everywhere you look. Traditions are not static, and you must nurture and care for them. You must convey the incredible power of tradition to every new student — or in this case, rider. Only then can the tradition continue to flourish and have lasting influence.
When tradition has no voice, it dies.
This is why the 2021 Little 500 is not the race: It is simply a race. The Little 500 is not 100 or 200 laps on a cinder track. It is appreciation, celebration and recognition of the riders and the tradition.
The 2021 race could have been this if it had a voice. Sadly, it did not, stripping the race of all its pride, its dignity and — most of all — its tradition.
Little 500 coach
1975 IU Student Foundation Steering Committee
Little 500 Hall of Fame
IU Foundation President’s Medallion